Project Brief

Live Nation, the owner of the original, legendary Fillmore Music Hall in San Francisco, has opened a number of Fillmore-inspired venues in several major metropolitan areas across the United States. The Fillmore Silver Spring opened its DAVIS-built doors in 2011 to host major music acts and to serve as a performance venue and a community space for local residents. This project required our ingenuity and creativity to make a modest budget go a long way within a short time frame — always a rewarding challenge for our DAVIS team. And as DC locals, we knew that this community is active and lively — so we were proud to have made it even more so by building a vital cultural center in its vibrant downtown.

A Rocky Start

Before we came on board, the Fillmore project had been a sore subject for the community. Failed plans and delays discouraged residents and local leaders alike. So we took it upon ourselves to ensure that the long-awaited construction went as smoothly and quickly as possible. We collaborated closely with Montgomery County, Lee Development Group, and Live Nation to make it all happen.

The site was originally home to a 1940s-era JC Penney department store, of which only the historic Art Deco façade remained — a beloved local landmark that we worked carefully to preserve and integrate into the new building. In order to save the building's skin, we installed a retention system and underpinned it below the face of the façade. This change required quick rethinking of the original design of the entire bottom level. In the end, the well-known façade was saved despite the rocky soil, a broken water line, and old steel beams and foundations encroaching on the two sides that we retained.

Once the façade was secure, we set to work on the new building. The new construction was done within the confines of the original building footprint and space was tight, but that didn’t deter us from completing the project on time and with minimal interruptions to neighbors.

From our project team

We still get calls from Live Nation from time to time to tell us how happy they are with the building.

Patrick Cotter, Director, DAVIS

Photos by Adrian Wilson